Washington [US]: Germany and the United States on Wednesday announced that they will send battle tanks to Ukraine to aid the war-ravaged country amid the ongoing conflict.
US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he would provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, reversing the administration’s longstanding opposition to Kyiv’s requests for the highly sophisticated but maintenance-intensive vehicles, according to CNN. On the same day, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also announced sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine in order to help them fight the Russian aggression in the ongoing conflict.
The simultaneous announcements marked a watershed moment after weeks of intense pressure on Berlin from some NATO allies to aid Ukraine with armoured vehicles.
Citing Biden’s statement from the White House, CNN reported that the tanks would “enhance Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives” in the short and long term.
“This is not an offensive threat to Russia. There is no offensive threat to Russia if Russian troops return to Russia, where they belong,” he said.
According to the government statement, Germany’s goal is to assemble two tank battalions of Leopard 2 tanks for Ukraine.
In the first step, Berlin will provide a company of 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from Bundeswehr stocks, with training for Ukrainian crews to begin in Germany as soon as possible. In addition to training, the package will include logistics, ammunition, and system maintenance, CNN reported.
Furthermore, as Biden has given his approval for the vehicles to be sent, the 31 Abrams will constitute an entire Ukrainian tank battalion.